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Old 10-26-2011, 06:01 AM   #1
redweka
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Australia V New Zealand E Book Prices

Excuse me if this topic has been covered off elsewhere, but as a new Kobo user I'm struggling to come to grips with the pricing for books here in New Zealand for the Kobo books distributed via Whitcoulls.

Example today: Kobo sends me an email advertising titles such as Kathy Reich's "Seizure" for $10.44 AUD (=$13.60 NZD) whereas on the website it is listed as $21.95 NZD.

Another example: Murakami's 1Q84 Book 3 at $10.44 AUD or on the website to me at $24.95 NZD.

Whats going on? Anyone explain?

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:24 AM   #2
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I found the same thing happened here in Australia when I compared the prices on borders.com.au and kobobooks.com - even though the kobo store knew I was in Australia and the kobo prices were in AUD$ they were often (but not always) much much cheaper than Borders.

Now I just shop around and buy my books from the cheapest source and use ADE to load them onto the my Kobo. Sometimes that cheapest source is Amazon and so then I need to use Calibre to convert. But it's not consistent - you do need to check prices.

An example Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher book The Affair (prices all AUD$) $9.99 at Amazon, $10.00 at Kobo, and $23.00 at Borders. I used a 20% off code and got it for $8 at Kobo.
The latest John Grisham The Litigators was $9.99 as a preorder at Amazon and is now $13.40, but at Kobo it is $29.99 - even the 30% off code I was hoping to use isn't worth it there - and I'm kicking myself for cancelling my preorder. Borders don't even have it listed.

Can you log in directly with kobobooks.com? It could be worth it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HarleyB View Post
I found the same thing happened here in Australia when I compared the prices on borders.com.au and kobobooks.com - even though the kobo store knew I was in Australia and the kobo prices were in AUD$ they were often (but not always) much much cheaper than Borders.

Now I just shop around and buy my books from the cheapest source and use ADE to load them onto the my Kobo. Sometimes that cheapest source is Amazon and so then I need to use Calibre to convert. But it's not consistent - you do need to check prices.

An example Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher book The Affair (prices all AUD$) $9.99 at Amazon, $10.00 at Kobo, and $23.00 at Borders. I used a 20% off code and got it for $8 at Kobo.
The latest John Grisham The Litigators was $9.99 as a preorder at Amazon and is now $13.40, but at Kobo it is $29.99 - even the 30% off code I was hoping to use isn't worth it there - and I'm kicking myself for cancelling my preorder. Borders don't even have it listed.

Can you log in directly with kobobooks.com? It could be worth it.
OK. I see now. I'm going to have to get more savvy. Bypass the Whitcoulls/Borders alliance and shop overseas. The same problem has been aired here in NZ recently in relation to pricing of software purchased online. Pricing gets inflated once the worker ants send signals to the queen ant that you are purchasing down-under.
I'll try logging into kobobooks directly but will be surprised if I can do that, guessing my details are locked into some dark cyber-dungeon and any break out would trigger an inter-ant response!
Thanks for the advice will get to work and see how it goes.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:49 AM   #4
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"An example Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher book The Affair (prices all AUD$) $9.99 at Amazon, $10.00 at Kobo, and $23.00 at Borders. I used a 20% off code and got it for $8 at Kobo."

$30.95 NZD to us. Ha Ha.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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Just a word of advice - if you use kobobooks.com you won't be able to use the same desktop app that is connected to Whitcouls. You can only have one desktop app on your computer at a time - either the Whitcouls one or the Kobo one. If you use the kepubs and sync you will need to download the epubs from the other store and use ADE to load them.
When I started buying from kobobooks.com I stopped using any desktop apps as I now have books from Borders, Kobo and Amazon. I load either via Calibre or ADE.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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I often find Borders Aust & Angus and Robertson more expensive than Kobo even though kobo is providing the backend for them doesn't make sense to me. I just buy from whoever is cheapest
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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I have just moaned about this on kobo's facebook page. John Grisham's new book The Litigators is $39.99 New Zealand dollars (about $32 USD)! I can buy the kindle version for $13 USD - same edition, same book, same market. It's an agency priced book which makes no sense as I thought agency pricing meant the same price within the same market. I guess that excludes Amazon!

Kobo are pricing themselves out of the NZ market. I have tried to be patient with them as they move to agency pricing and have had numerous contacts with them via Nathan Maharaj who is great - but has not made any difference. I'm afraid this latest discrepancy is the last straw for me, ages since I have read a kepub. I shop around - and at the moment buy almost exclusively kindle and convert.

Also, the emails I receive from kobo always include pricing for the US market - which is substantially different from the NZ market. Not sure if this is because I bought my kobo from borders (the emails are branded kobo however). I always ignore pricing in the emails and go purely off the website. And I never buy from Whitcoulls either - too expensive again!
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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Yup, I never buy via Whitcoulls, way too expensive. I've always bought direct via the Kobo website. Retailers are going to have to wake up and realise that we now live in a global economy and we can buy from whomever is selling at the cheapest price in the world.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:37 AM   #9
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It's not just the pricing that annoys me (which has been even more annoying with the AU$ having had parity with the US$ for awhile now), but the availability of ebooks period. There has been some books I just couldn't get unless I mucked around with proxy/VPN's and address details etc which I'm not a huge fan of doing. It's all rather silly when a 1sec search will list a bunch of links to pirate versions.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:39 PM   #10
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And the most insane discrepancy I have seen to date:

Steve Jobs biography - $49.99NZD at kobo, but only $10.36USD for the kindle version - no proxy/VPN magic required. Hachette, you really care about the market on this side of the world don't you?

Epub will be dead in New Zealand if this keeps up.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #11
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Wow $49.99!! That's amazing - I wonder if they have sold ANY? Was that on Whitcouls or Kobo?

It's AUD$9.99 on kobobooks.com and borders.com.au but AUD$10.36 at Amazon so this is one of those times when Kobo beats Amazon - no further discounts allowed though.

I'm a bit surprised that NZ seems to be treated so differently to Australia. I honestly thought we were suffering through this type of rubbish together - sorry!
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:47 PM   #12
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@kiwipippa: Ouch. Seems to vary book to book, I can't remember the book name but I do recall another book you listed for a price in another post appeared much more for me (sorry I know that sounds so vague but I remember thinking it odd at the time). I really can't make heads and tails of how they are working this geographical pricing.

That is almost worth an email to Kobo to just check they've set that pricing right, and to the publisher to ask what the?
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyB View Post
Wow $49.99!! That's amazing - I wonder if they have sold ANY? Was that on Whitcouls or Kobo?

It's AUD$9.99 on kobobooks.com and borders.com.au but AUD$10.36 at Amazon so this is one of those times when Kobo beats Amazon - no further discounts allowed though.

I'm a bit surprised that NZ seems to be treated so differently to Australia. I honestly thought we were suffering through this type of rubbish together - sorry!
I'm surprised they are different too - I actually thought they were the same market, esp as all the discount codes we get have "au" in them.

The $49.99 is on kobobooks.com - it's not available in epub at Whitcoulls, although the hard cover book can be bought there online at $40!

Quote:
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That is almost worth an email to Kobo to just check they've set that pricing right, and to the publisher to ask what the?
I did that - and got a very supportive email back from Nathan Maharaj their Merchandising Manager. He advised that they have again approached the publishers pointing out these discrepancies and agrees that New Zealanders are getting a bad deal. They are working to try and resolve it and appreciates my patience. I was impressed with his response even if it doesn't resolve it now - good service anyway.

Conversely I contacted the CEO of Hachette in New Zealand and got a terse
"The Kobo prices you quote are all well below the current print edition prices. I am afraid that I am unable to comment on the prices charged by Amazon, but we believe that our pricing offers the reader good value for an electronic edition". This is bollocks as my examples clearly show - and the Steve Jobs one today where the hard cover is $40. They simply don't care.

(I could make rude comments about the French and their love of New Zealand such as we beat them at rugby and they blew up the Greenpeace ship in Auckland harbour - but that wouldn't be very professional would it! This is what I'd like to do to Hachette )
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:44 AM   #14
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This dramatic change in the nature of the publishing industry is sure making for a rough ride! Price differences seen on the internet have frustrated me too.

I have bought most of my ebooks from Whitcoulls so far because for the books I have wanted the prices have been not that high. And it is only recently that companies like Kobo and TheBookDepository have started trading in New Zealand Dollars. (Buying in USD with a NZ credit card does incur foreign exchange fees, which for a small value purchase like a book is a put off).

There is a part of me that does want to support a NZ bookstore chain like Whitcoulls for fear that they might be practically wiped out by the global market, and I am not sure if I would like that.

But at the same time the internet is effectively a single global market and regional price differences for digital content just make all customers, myself included, very grumpy. That won't change. If I wanted to by the Jobs biography I would be very reluctant to pay NZD 49.99 for it. I will only support a local business if it doesn't cost me too much, and by too much I mean very little extra!

But I thought the following article in the New Yorker last year is a very interesting insight into the changes occurring the book business at the moment.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...a_fact_auletta
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:06 AM   #15
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As you might have guessed from my initial posts here I had a bumpy ride with the Kobo touch for starters. I am still perplexed with the e reader experience, though interested enough to hang in there, because I can see their potential and for me, simply, I want to read more books, of my own choice at a reasonable price. What I have gathered to date is that the industry in NZ is nowhere near conversant with the technology, this is reflected in the pricing offered "on shore" (whatever that means in the digital age). My impression is that the book/publishing industry is apprehensive of this technology and rather dismissive of it.

On the other side of the equation devices just need to work simply and without fuss for the average joe-blow. To date I am confused by the apps/kepubs/proxy vpn/calibre thingys required to read my damn book.

Though comments above have cleared things a bit and have downloaded calibre will set to work to use it and also good advice re the app source as well.

Still shocked at price discrepancies however. Hey its not limited to the ebook world! Looked up a cover for the touch on trademe.co.nz. Purple leather kobo cover buy now $35. Looked up on internet, exact same for sale at skindigitalstore.com for $20. 5 days to arrive ex Hong Kong. Perfect!

At least I got a bargain on that one!
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